We are the church, whether we are gathered or scattered--each one of us, a part of the body of Christ, wherever we go, whatever we do.
So, where can you find us, and what are we doing?
Ashley Snyder tells her and Andy’s story: As a young married couple, if you had told us that we would one day have five kids, we would not have believed it. Needless to say, we did not set out on our journey with foster care or adoption in mind. In fact, one of Andy’s greatest fears was not being able to have kids. This is something he shared while we were dating.
So, after about five years and all sorts of fertility testing, God brought us to the realization that we did not need to have biological children to have a family. There are so many children already on this earth that need a safe home and loving parents. We started the foster care licensing process in 2014 with Washington County but God had another plan.
We learned about Prairie Island Indian Community from a previous co-worker and within weeks, we were licensed and had a 10-month old baby boy in our home—Durrant. The moment we laid eyes on this sweet chubby boy, we were in love. Five months later his baby brother, King, was born. We were now the parents of two!
I wish I could say that the path of foster care and adoption has been an easy one…it hasn’t. People have often said to us “I have thought about foster care but I couldn’t bear giving the child up once they were mine.” Well, we have had to do so and, yes, it was the most difficult experience of our lives. Andy and I did question God in that season. “Why would he bring these precious children into our lives and then take them?” “Will they ever come to know Him now that they are back in their biological home?” For both of us it took many months to heal from the pain. We did question whether or not we could continue doing foster care- knowing the likelihood that this could happen again.
Within days of our boys going home, we had a five year old girl, Shirley, placed with us. And then, a few months later, baby Gary, right from the hospital. He is a cousin of Durrant and King—their family saw how we cared for the boys and wanted Gary to also be in our home.
Not too long after Gary was placed with us, Durrant, King, and their new baby sister, Envy, needed a home.
Because of God’s goodness, this is us (see picture above): Andy, Ashley, Shirley (8), Durrant (4), King (3), Envy (2), and Gary (21 mos).
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you….” In the coming months all five of our babies should be with us permanently. If the boys had not left our home for a time, Shirley and Gary would have never joined our family. By no means is our story one of perfect trust, far from it. It is a story of God’s love and beautiful plan shining through our brokenness.